Driving without insurance in any state can lead to significant penalties. Each state has its own rules and consequences drivers must face when driving without insurance. Although it is considered illegal in Illinois to drive without insurance, nearly 12% of Illinois drivers were uninsured in 2019, according to the Insurance Information Institute (iii). Driving without insurance in Illinois can lead to huge fines and even result in having your license suspended.
Minimum insurance required in Illinois
Like most states in the U.S, drivers in Illinois must obtain minimum insurance by law. The minimum amount includes bodily injury, property damage and uninsured motorist coverage.
The liability coverage requirements must include bodily injury of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Property damage requirements must meet $20,000 per accident. Additionally, Illinois requires drivers to obtain uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage for $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
Penalties for driving without insurance in Illinois
Depending on the offense, if you get caught driving without insurance in Illinois, there are penalties such as paying a hefty fine, having your license suspended and more. The consequences you can face for driving uninsured include the following:
Paying a fine
A first-time offender will have to pay a fine of up to $1,000, and the penalties can be significantly higher if this is not a first-time offense.
Your license can be suspended for up to three months if you are a first-time offender and up to four months or more if you are a repeat offender. If your license is suspended, you will have to pay a license reinstatement fee of $100.
If you get caught driving without insurance in Illinois, the police are legally allowed to tow and impound your vehicle, and the fines will vary to get it back.
Higher insurance premiums
If you get caught driving with no insurance coverage, then you will likely be immediately seen as a high-risk driver by insurance companies. When you search for insurance, you will probably face the consequence of having to pay a higher premium, which can get expensive.
If you are caught driving without insurance multiple times and receive court supervision, you will eventually be required to get an SR-22 insurance certificate for three years. SR-22 is a special insurance certificate reported to the state every month to verify that you carry the minimum amount of insurance mandated by Illinois. If you do not keep up with the SR-22 requirements, the state can suspend your license.
Fees from Illinois’s online insurance verification system
Illinois has a digital insurance verification system for drivers and insurance companies. The Illinois Verification System (ILIVS) was introduced under a new state law, effective August 30, 2019. The system, which monitors and tracks insured vehicles, requires all insurance companies in Illinois to provide daily reports to the Secretary of State on all new or canceled policies. The table below shows some of the fees a driver can face through the state’s online insurance verification system.
|Reason for fee||Fee amount|
|Getting caught driving without insurance||Minimum $500|
|Driving with a license plate that was suspended based on prior insurance violation||$1000|
|Getting your car towed for driving without insurance||Fees vary|
|Reinstating a license that has been suspended||$100|
Getting into an accident without insurance
If you are an Illinois driver involved in an accident and are uninsured, you could face several penalties, including an additional fine and suspension of your driver’s license. In Illinois, what happens to an uninsured driver who gets into an accident is based on who was at fault for the accident.
If you were not at fault, you could file a third-party claim through the at-fault driver’s insurance for any bodily injuries or property damage. However, if you were at fault for the accident, the other driver’s uninsured motorist coverage will have to cover you. While it could take several months for the claim to go through, once it does, the driver’s insurance company is likely to attempt to collect the losses by filing a lawsuit against you.
Frequently asked questions
What if you provide false insurance information?
If you are caught driving without insurance, you will face several penalties. However, providing false insurance information could result in even more serious fines and jail time. The fine can be as much as $2,000 and up to six months in jail.
How much is car insurance in Illinois?
The average cost of car insurance in Illinois is $1,485 for full coverage and $442 for minimum coverage. Car insurance in Illinois is typically slightly cheaper than the national average, which is $1,674 per year for full coverage. Your actual car insurance rates may vary and will be based on several factors, such as driving record, age and credit history.
Does the online insurance verification system automatically prove I have insurance?
Yes, your insurance carrier will report your insurance coverage through the Illinois online insurance verification system as soon as you purchase your policy. Although it is usually a good idea to carry proof of insurance at all times, the police will have access to the verification system if you are pulled over or involved in an accident.
Can I go to jail for driving without insurance?
It is unlikely you will go to jail solely for driving without insurance. For a first offense, you will be fined up to $1,000. If you drive without insurance and are caught again, you can pay another fine and then have your license suspended for several months.